Incentive Check for Social Security Recipients? Why a senior citizen group says it’s urgent – Community News
Stimulus Check

Incentive Check for Social Security Recipients? Why a senior citizen group says it’s urgent

A group of seniors is increasing pressure on Congress to send a fourth stimulus check to Social Security recipients. (iStock)

The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), an impartial senior group, Urges Congress to issue a fourth $1,400 stimulus check to Social Security recipients.

TSCL chairman Rick Delaney sent letters to congressional leaders calling for a new round of stimulus checks for those on Social Security Income (SSI), according to an update from the group last month.

“We’ve heard from thousands of them [seniors] who have used up their retirement savings, who have started eating only one meal a day, who have halved their pills because they cannot afford their prescription drugs, just to name a few of the drastic steps so many have had to take because of what inflation has caused this years with them,” the letter reads. “Many have written to us that ‘our government has forgotten us’.”

“A $1,400.00 incentive check, for Social Security recipients, could be one way to get them additional non-taxable income,” Delaney said in the letter.

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Seniors are having a hard time due to inflation

As inflation rises, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced beneficiaries will see an increase from 5.9% in benefits next year, the largest increase in nearly 40 years. The increase is due to a cost of living (COLA) adjustment that determines changes in Social Security benefits each year.

“This would be the highest COLA that most beneficiaries alive today have ever seen,” said Mary Johnson, policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League Social Security and Medicare. “But a high COLA means exceptionally high inflation is affecting consumers. The Senior Citizens League has received more than 200 emails in the past month, with many retired and disabled senders describing the difficult situations they face as the rapidly Rising inflation makes it impossible to open the bills.”

SSA increased payments by an average of 1.4% over the past 12 years and 1.3% for 2021. Now, TSCG says this increase is too little, too late, as seniors face rising inflation and other costs.

“Over the past 21 years, COLAs have increased Social Security benefits by 55%, but housing costs increased by nearly 118% and health care costs increased by 145% over the same period,” Johnson said.

The seniors group said economic impact payments for eligible individuals with Social Security retirement income could offset these costs.

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TSCL creates a petition

Despite pressure and letters from TSCL, the group said there was no congressional support for a fourth stimulus check. In response, the seniors group has launched a petition to raise awareness and support for a Social Security incentive check for recipients.

“In 2021, Social Security benefits rose just 1.3%, increasing the average benefit by only about $20 a month,” the petition states. “But about 86% of Social Security recipients surveyed say their spending has increased much more than that amount.”

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